Friday, March 24, 2017

Pageant Wisdom

Most people have a "pageant girl" stereotype in their minds. And I get it, movies haven't exactly painted a pretty picture. Some of it is true.. I've had my share of "crazies" and "caddy Pattys" in the pageant world. But for the most part, the women are absolutely phenomenal! I've made some fabulous life-long friendships because of pageantry. Accomplished, supportive, kind and loving. However, we women, are emotional beings.. There are bound to be “hiccups” anytime you get a bunch of women together in the same competition. Some of them might even be ugly to you, so how do you handle that?

The first thing you need to know is- You're on a mission.

And anytime you enter a "mission field" you need to be prepared for attacks. I wish that wasn't the case, but then there wouldn't be a need for this blog.

When you're on the front lines doing good and making a difference, people are gonna get jealous. And not just in the "pageant world" but everywhere.

You're walking around with a target on your back. Wear it with pride because you earned it, that target is your "purple heart" medallion you for all your bravery and persistence.
Never underestimate a queen with a cause!

So when haters-hate, take it as a compliment!

Secondly, it's not about who is skinnier, or prettier, but who has the most HEART! Don't be afraid to be you, do you! Regardless of what anyone thinks...Be confident and portray it. Confidence is a million times prettier than "skinny" or "pretty." You can be both of those, but if you lack confidence, you're done!

Next, love! Love is always the answer. We've all heard the saying, (and now, the song) "kill em with kindness!" That may not be the right attitude, but nonetheless, it gets the point across. Choose love and kindness, be the bigger person, and God will reward you for it. For whatsoever you reap, you will sow!

Lastly- If you aren't the one to take the crown home.. Don't be THAT girl. Life WILL go on, and you're still a queen in your state, country or region. Be happy for the new queen, smile, and keep your composure, there is nothing uglier than a “sore loser.”

Use your current title to the fullest, and be grateful for the things you DO have, stop focusing on what you don't.

I'm your Mrs International reminding you-


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

3 Crown Worthy Hairstyles

It is never too early to start thinking about the hairstyle you want to rock at Miss International 2017. Leading up to my competition, I had an entire notebook describing my looks for each day - hair, make-up, outfit… everything! Start planning out what you want to look like for your crowning moment! Do you want edgy, classic, simple, or refined?

Let’s take a look at some of my favorite hairstyles for the upcoming pageant season that are sure to be crown worthy!

1. The Classic Pageant Look

This look is timeless and truly my favorite. I feel like it looks good on everyone. When the curls are loose it looks as if you just woke up that fabulous! Many crowns have been won with this hair-style and I doubt it will go out of style anytime soon! I selected this style for evening gown because I thought it flattered the neckline - my hair length - and face shape! Make sure that you have layers framing your face if you are trying to achieve this look. Without layers, your hair will be too heavy, unable to hold the curl, and will not frame your face in the best way. This look is always a guaranteed hit!

2. The Voluminous and Regal Up-Do

Ivanka Trump nailed it with this regal look! I love how it showcased her beautiful collarbone and gown. This look is perfect for gowns that have a high neck or intricate detail at the top. It takes someone bold and confident to pull off a look like this but it is so beautiful if you feel comfortable in it! I feel like this iconic look will show up many times, but with good reason! It’s stunning.

3. Half-Up Half-Down

In my mind, Kate Middleton can do no wrong when it comes to fashion and beauty selections. She just nails it every single time! This look has been in the pageant industry for eons. It is great if you’re selecting a gown that is ultra elegant and princess like! I enjoy how it’s a bit more formal than just all down, but not as refined as the up-do. It’s somewhere down the middle. I wore this look for many years and it always flatters my round face.

I cannot wait to see what amazing looks hit the stage at Miss International 2017!

Redefining Beauty Worldwide,

Amanda Moreno
Miss International 2016

Monday, March 13, 2017

Because of YOU!

Becoming Mrs International, has been such a blessing. I know my reign isn't over but I just wanted to use this opportunity to express my gratitude.

Recently we had the first National Infant Abandonment Awareness Day, and it was a huge hit! I know that this title played an intricate role in the success of that day. And for that, (and for many more reasons, and opportunities) I feel so thankful. Im so grateful for my husband, my family, Safe Haven Baby Boxes, The Hope Box and YOU-my faithful readers! I'm so blessed by you, thank you for reading my blogs, following my crazy “challenges” and most importantly, praying for me!

We might never know how many people or how far this challenge reached. But I know that the heart photos that I saw over social media, really touched my heart, and actually made me tear up.

It may have seemed silly to some- posting a heart selfie...But in doing so, you were sharing about Safe Haven laws...And who knows, your photo might have been the one that reached that desperate mother and saved a baby!

I know for a fact that because of you, and your willingness, many people have learned about Safe Haven Laws- A law that most have never even heard about.

Even though the “challenge” went well, we still have a lot of work to do. Please continue to share, post, and spread the word until there are no more abandonments!

I'm your Mrs International reminding you-



Pageant Planet Awards

Recently Pageant Planet released a few articles with awards for those in the pageant community! I have always said that the International Pageant system has the best sponsors, and this year they have done an amazing job being recognized for all of their accomplishments. Not only were our sponsors recognized but so were a few contestants. Here is a list so far of who has been recognized by pageant planet!

Clay Spann: Clay was not listed for 1 but 2 awards so far from Pageant Planet. He was in the Top 10 Make-Up Artist list and the Top 10 Headshot photographer list. Both of them were well deserved! I have had the privilege of working with Clay and he is not only amazing but a friend as well!

Here is what Pageant Planet says:
“Clay Spann is really a powerhouse of talent. Not only can he do your makeup for a photoshoot or pageant, but he also sells his own line of cosmetic products and makeup – and did I mention he can also take your headshot photos? Clay Spann’s headquarters is a one-stop-shop for your glamorous look for your upcoming pageant. Clay is located in Dothan, Alabama."
“Talk about a one-stop shop! Clay Spann is not only an extremely talented photographer but also an impeccable makeup artist. Embedded in each of his sessions is a makeup session with him to ensure you look and feel your best during the time spent with him. Clay has worked with the national title holders for the International Systems tem and numerous state and local titleholders for both Miss America Organization and Miss USA pageants. Clay is located in Dothan, Alabama and has a very glamorous approach to both makeup and photography. A bonus about working with Clay? If you love the products he uses on you during your makeup session, you can buy the products from him as he also has his own cosmetics line.”

Joey Rutherford: Joey is the owner of Competitive Image and also a close friend. The Competitive Image is an excellent pageant store. I purchased my evening gown and other pieces I wore at nationals from them! I will be attending the Trunk Show in April and highly recommend going. I attended last year and it helped me greatly! Congratulations to my friend Joey, I cannot wait to see you soon. 

Here is what Pageant Planet Says:
“Located in Dothan, Alabama is The Competitive Image. “Magnificent Apparel and Finery” is this boutique’s slogan. It has provided attire for hundreds of titleholders dating back to 2001. It’s no wonder The Competitive Image is among the top in the nation, as they also hold events during the year. In April, Sherri Hill will be at their Trunk Show.”

Thomas Dunn: Amanda, Priscilla, and I all just had a trip to Roanoke to see Thomas and Drew Dunn, Owners of the salon. They provided us all with fabulous hair extensions. They are so amazing, ladies please remember to book your appointments for nationals. They are the only hair and makeup sponsors allowed backstage to help with hair and makeup!

Here is what Pageant Planet Says:
“This full-service salon located in Roanoke, Virginia offers hair, makeup and even photography services. Although I have never been there myself, I was a fan as soon as I read that the salon uses Oribe products. I am a full-on fan of Oribe products for hair.”

Priscilla Pruitt: Congratulations to my sister titleholder Priscilla for making the Top 10 Mrs. Evening Gown list! Clearly it was well deserved, you look stunning in your evening gown!

Here is what Pageant Planet Says:
“This mermaid gown is beautiful, especially with the super long train and jeweled accents along the neckline and shoulders. The pure white color is stunning. It is so simple with some beautiful accents to make it stand out, and Priscilla looks beautiful in this gown! The dark hair looks amazing with the white gown. The crown and sash definitely look great with it, too."

Me: I cannot believe I was awarded with this honor! I was so excited when I heard the news that I was number 2 on Pageant Planet's Top 10 Teen Gown List . A big thank you goes to Joey from Competitive Image. Thank you for helping me pick my dream gown. You were such a crucial part of my pageant journey and I cannot thank you enough!

Here is what Pageant Planet says:
“This is an example of an insanely beautiful mermaid style gown. Garin looks jaw-droppingly stunning in this white mermaid style evening gown. The style of this design looks amazing along with its fabric and designs. She definitely chose her perfect gown for Miss Teen International 2016!”
I also want to congratulate a few of our contestants for also being recognized. Jessica Johnson made the Top 10 Teen Evening Gown list with me and Nicole Zwiercan and Jessica Jackson made the Top 10 Mrs. Evening Gown list!

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." -Orison Swett Marden

Garin Harris
Miss Teen International 2016

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Nothing Happens By Chance

There is no such thing as chance. How crazy is that? Where you are - who you meet - what you see… it’s all for a reason. It may not make sense now. It may not make sense a year from now. There will come a day when you see the pieces fit together and see your pain turn into purpose… and your test turn into a testimony… your small encounter turn into someone’s comeback. There will come a time when you realize why you met that person and had them in your life for whatever extent of time.

It’s a beautiful opportunity we have to pour into each person we encounter and love them well. Your words and actions could change the trajectory of their day. It’s a powerful and beautiful responsibility. However, without looking closely… we could miss the entire opportunity. We could completely miss our ability to change the world or a person’s life. Our words and actions could be careless and then we didn’t fulfill our purpose because we were so focused on our life that we couldn’t take time to lift up others.

Do you realize that the barista who made your Starbucks had a purpose in your life and you had a purpose in theirs?

Do you realize that the person who is sitting next to you at church could use an encouraging word and warm smile?

Do you realize that, although it seems random, the person who got grouped with you for a project may need you to show them your faith?

Each person - each moment - each encounter…. there is an ordained purpose. We can step into it or miss out on the big opportunity to be part of what Jesus is doing. Instead of just rushing by and seeing bodies… I encourage you to see people. Look into their heart and consider how you can bless them! You have no idea what your words, warm embrace or smile can do for them. Compliment their attire, ask about their life, invest in them!

You’ve been placed in this moment… this day… this location… this encounter… for a purpose. Step into this moment and the bigger story! Your true beauty has the ability to change the world.

Redefining Beauty Worldwide,

Amanda Moreno
Miss International 2016

Friday, March 10, 2017

How To Enter A Pageant On A Budget!

I run into so many women that have a desire for entering a pageant, but fear the cost. So here is how I competed on a budget:

When you're entering a pageant, it's important to prioritize, save where you can, and spend only where you HAVE to...You must have a plan! I have a large family, and on top of that we were spending $1200.00/month feeding the kids in our community... So it was imperative that we budget and really prioritize.

First of all, you need to find sponsors! This wasn't easy for me coming from a very small town, population 3,500. So if I could do it, then so can you!

If you can find one or two "good" sponsors it helps tremendously!

Mrs. International was the first time I used a pageant coach, and it made all the difference in the world. I really wanted to use Suzy Bootz, but I couldn't exactly afford her, sooooo.. I found a sponsor! Thank you again Sweet Country Suites, in Newcastle, WY!! I know I couldn't have won without Suzy, so thank you both, Suzy and Sweet Country Suites.

Secondly, YOU are more talented than you think, I had to learn this the hard way. I save by doing my own hair, I don't color, I cut it myself (I don't recommend this unless you know what you're doing) I do my own nails, and toes. And I do my own make up during pageant week although, I used Dunn and Dunn for the competition days...And in doing this, I've saved a ton of money!

I invested in gel nail kit, light, and polishes and it's paid for itself time and time again.

I make my own face cream, by buying collagen powder, vitamin E oil, castor oil, vitamin C powder (on Amazon), and using fresh lemon juice...I make the best face cream at a fraction of the cost, and the ingredients last for about a year. Plus it's anti-aging, removes skin's-spots and really rejuvenates my skin! I'm 35 years old, I don't do botox, or any other "help" this (homemade face cream) is all I use.

For my pageant week clothing- I used Tasha Furman, who could literally turn any of my crazy (fashion) ideas into a reality. And she is affordable, a win, win!

Now after winning, I've been so blessed with our sponsors at the Competitive Image where I was blessed with all these gorgeous dresses and appearance outfits...They have the most beautiful selections!!

I also use and I pay about $130.00 monthly subscription, which allows me to rent unlimited outfits a month. I get three outfits at a time, it includes all shipping, and dry cleaning fees. This has been my "saving grace" because being Mrs. International and a TV co-host, I can't exactly wear the same outfits again and again. $130 sounds like a lot of money, but in my case, it saves me money!

When looking for my pageant evening gown, I used The Competitive Image.. Joey was amazing! I told him my budget, I was very strict...And he worked so hard to help fulfill all my wishes, while on a budget.

You don't have to spend a fortune! You CAN win a pageant without having to "break" the bank. Plus my dress won Best In Evening Gown at Mrs International AND it was recently named top 5 in Pageant Planet's Best Evening Gowns for Mrs Pageants!

For my headshots, (I was really on a budget here) I asked a photographer friend of mine, I showed him examples of what I wanted... I did my own hair and makeup, and the photos turned out great. They're not "Clay Spann" but they were good.

I must say, if you CAN go to Clay, he is worth every penny! This is a perfect example of prioritizing. The reason I didn't see this as one of my “priorities”...Was ONLY due to the fact that I have 17 years experience as a makeup artist, so I knew between me, and my photographer friend, we could do a decent job.

But I strongly recommend you invest in some great headshots. And Clay Spann is THE BEST!!

You want to have great photos on your platform page, and really take the time to get that done right. Suzy was such a great help with that. I also used Susan Botek to help with the designer and layout of the page. She was so helpful!

Lastly, ad pages...I think it's important to have something in the program book, but I don't see it necessary to spend a fortune. I just had a small, half page, black and white ad...That did the job!

Pageantry should be fun, enjoyable and empowering, it should never be a burden.

If you have any questions or would like some information on any of the people I mentioned please visit our website at There you will find a list of all our sponsors and their contact info.

I'm your Mrs International reminding you-



Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Importance of Inspiration

This blog post may be cheesy but I am a firm believer that it is so important to constantly be working to better yourself. In order to do that however, you need inspiration. I recently re-designed my room and filled it with inspirational quotes and cute messages. This is just one easy way to get inspired! Here are a few of the quotes that are in my room!

“She has sparkle all her own”

I have loved this quote for years, it is a good reminder that it is okay ad even important to be different and stand out in a crowd. Everyone has their own calling, follow yours not anyone else’s!

I WILL BE… Alert, Agreeable, Ambitious, Alluring, Active, Brave, Bright, Bold, Capable, Cheerful, Calm, Charming, Confident, Cooperative, Courageous, Caring, Cultured, Decisive, Discreet, Delightful, Determined, Dynamic, Diligent, Eager, Efficient, Enchanting, Energetic, Enthusiastic, Excellent, Fabulous, Faithful, Fair, Fearless, Fine, Friendly, Generous, Gentle, Glorious, Good, Happy, Helpful, Impartial, Industrious, Intelligent, Jolly, Kind, Loving, Lucky, Likable, Mature, Nice, Peaceful, Placid, Pleasant, Proud, Plucky, Quiet, Receptive, Resolute, Reflective, Responsible, Romantic, Sensitive, Sincere, Successful, Talented, Thoughtful, Trustworthy, Tender, Truthful, Upright, Vivacious, Warm, Willing, Wise, Witty, Wonderful… WOW

This to me is a really important and very useful for interview! One question a contestant should always prepare for is “ What are three words you would use to describe yourself?” This is a list of adjectives you may want to use to describe yourself. I think everyone should learn to be a dynamic person. As a titleholder it is extremely important to also be adaptable and positive!

Another way to find inspiration is by following different positive quote accounts on Twitter or Instagram. Social media can focus on the negative from time to time so, it’s important to fill your feed with positivity Remember you have the choice of who you follow, you have the power to make your feed positive or negative.

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds."

-Orison Swett Marden

Garin Harris
Miss Teen International 2016

Monday, March 6, 2017


Forgiveness is one of the the hardest things to give away but also one of the things our heart needs the most. It is impossible to be beautiful in character toward someone if we are harboring hurt, resentment, or anger. No matter how much we try and fake that we’re okay… at some point… it will show. Our heart is compromised because of feelings. Unfortunately, we can’t always trust our feelings alone. We have to trust the Holy Spirit to lead us and walk in obedience to the forgiveness He calls us to extend. It’s not easy but when it happens… it is beyond worth it.

I’ve learned that there comes a time when it doesn’t matter who was “right” or “wrong”… all that matters is that God has called us to forgive and love. We can do that - even when it’s hard because God did it for us. It’s not worth fighting about things to be “right”. People’s emotions and feelings are their own. If someone feels a certain way, no amount of fighting or arguing back will take that feeling away. We must respect how we’ve made them feel and apologize for making them feel that way. Is it worth questioning it or telling them how they feel? No way!

We have to accept that something we’ve done has caused this and apologize. 
However… usually the feelings go two ways. We have to forgive them too. If we do not… the hurt, resentment and anger will be a plague to our true beauty. 

The enemy of our heart will tell us that we’ve been wronged too and need to be upset. Jesus will tell us that we all fall short and can extend forgiveness and love because God gave it to us. I’ve seen that when these negative feelings from the enemy take hold of my heart… I’m not the most beautiful Amanda I can be. No amount of make-up can cover a bitter or angry heart. It takes God to fix a heart like that and a level of peace and forgiveness can be reached when we walk in obedience.

Forgiveness must be extended both ways for a relationship to be cultivated. If it doesn’t though… that’s okay! You can forgive someone in your heart… and it may never be reciprocated. God gave His only son, because He loves us deeply, knowing that we may never choose Him back.

Choose to forgive and choose to be beautiful.

Redefining Beauty Worldwide,

Amanda Moreno
Miss International 2016

Friday, March 3, 2017

The Best Is Yet To Come

Today, as I was in the middle of recording five episodes of God’s View….I had a moment, a moment to where my whole life made sense. I realized that every experience, every little bit of training, pageantry, years of drama, years of performing as a ballroom dancer, teaching Zumba... Even the bad years the years of bullying, the complete betrayal and pain of my first marriage ending, having lost everything and starting over….All led me to this place.

I was talking to my sister yesterday and she was telling me how my sweet little niece, Ari had changed drastically over the last few months after having started Kindergarten. (Ari is the sweetest, tender-hearted, little girl, who wouldn't hurt a fly!)

She has been in Kindergarten for almost a year now, and you wouldnt-couldnt even recognize her now. She’s developed this insecurity, anger, and has become plain-ole mean!

After talking to my sister she explained how Ari developed insecurity because she felt inferior when reading in front of her class and her teacher. Ari was very shy, and for that reason, she wasn't comfortable, and therefore labeled “dyslexic.”

And I said “That's it, Adonai is never going to public school!”

See, I’ve been debating putting my youngest (Adonai) in Kindergarten next year. I homeschool my kids, however, I’ve always allowed them to start off in public school... In order to develop their socializing skills. But being that Adonai is my baby, my last little one...I’m afraid of her getting bullied, hurt, and becoming insecure.

Sure, I meant well, but operating in fear is never the answer.

And God confirmed that today, while I was filming and He showed me that it's all gonna be okay. That He is in control, no matter what happens, “all things work together for the good of those who are called according to His purpose.”

Everything that I’ve been through, helped develop character, prepared me, and ultimately made me ME.

The same goes for you, no matter your age.. Everything you have experienced, learned, or overcome has led you to this point in your life.. Maybe you're in a rut, maybe things aren't looking good for you right now. That’s okay! Don’t lose hope, your best is yet to come!

I’m your Mrs. International reminding you-



Thursday, March 2, 2017

How I Got Ready - NYFW

I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Red Dress Collection during NYFW! This event is to raise awareness that heart disease is the number one killer of women! So many people have been asking me how I got ready and what products I used so here is an inside look on my routine for walking the red carpet during NYFW!


Vitamin E Oil- First Aid Beauty Spray

Primer- Porefessional by Benefit

Foundation- Sand Olive Picture Perfect Foundation by Clay Spann

Concealer - Golden Beige and Ivory by Clay Spann

Setting Powder- Linen and Natural tan by Clay Spann

Baking - Translucent Loose Powder in Warm Beige by Clay Spann

Contour- Matte Bronze by Clay Spann

Eyebrows- Dipbrow in Soft Brown by Anastasia and Soft Brown Brow Definer by Clay Spann

Eye/ Lip primer- by Clay Spann (one color)

Blush- Romance and Bouquet Blush by Clay Spann

Eyeshadow- Vanilla Shake, Toast, Mocha, Cat Walk, and Mystic by Clay Spann were all used for this look

Eyeliner- Jet Black Eye Pencil by Clay Spann

Lashes- Mega Lash Mascara by Clay Spann then use Duo dark glue to apply Dunn and Dunn “A Dunn Deal Lashes”

Lipstick- Sunset and Cranberry Crush by Clay Spann

Finishing Touches- Neutral Set Powder- Ben Nye

Long story short I love Clay Spann and Dunn and Dunn! Ladies remember to book your appointments with the Dunns today. They are the only hair and makeup artists allowed backstage to assist with hair and makeup!


I decided to go with something fun and different for New York Fashion Week. Since the show was all about heart health I chose to go with black almond shape nails with a EKG readings and a heart on them. For those who do not know what an EKG is, it is an electrocardiogram that prints your heart's electrical activity on paper! It was totally nerdy to do, but everyone seemed to love them!


This amazing gown was given to me by Competitive Image. The designer is Fernando Wong! Remember the International Pageants Trunk Show is April 20th, 21st, and 22nd in Dothan, Alabama! I would love to see you all there!


I curled my hair with a Hot Tools curling iron then teased my hair with a basic teasing brush.

I hope this was helpful to you! If you would like me to write more blogs like this comment below!

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds."

-Orison Swett Marden

Garin Harris
Miss Teen International 2016

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

"But You Look Healthy..."

When I shared my eating disorder story with others… I was often greeted by concerned faces and the comment, “But you look healthy..” Saying that to someone who just left recovery can actually be damaging. What does healthy even look like? Even in the depths of eating disorders, people’s physical appearance doesn't always change. It's different from one person to the next. There is no standard look or body. Eating disorders can impact anyone and everyone.

When someone struggling with an eating disorder hears, “but you look healthy…” it translates as “you are fat.” Although that wasn't the intention, someone with a mental illness cannot understand that. It actually pains us to hear it. Words have a lot of power over someone with an eating disorder. You have to be intentional and careful about how you respond to someone in this time of vulnerability. A comment like that can send them into a spiral of negative thoughts and possibly even a relapse.

If someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, I would encourage you to use your words intentionally. Try to avoid conversations centered around food and body image; it's likely their mind is already focused on it. Do something fun! Go on a walk! Take a walk in the park! Don't worry about talking about their eating disorder, but be ready to listen if they open up. You don't have to have all the answers… just love them well. See them for who they are, not the eating disorder that has grasped their heart.

Redefining Beauty Worldwide,

Amanda Moreno
Miss International 2016